[World of Bats] Cassandra Cain's Origins in No Man's Land!

Hello and welcome to the World of Bats, the Batman Book Club!

So for the month of May, aka Asian Heritage Month, this book club will not only showcase some of the amazing Asian/Pacific Islander creators who have put their touches on the Dark Knight, but some of the characters that are part of the Batman universe, and what better character to focus is Cassandra Cain, aka Batgirl/Orphan?

So this week, we’re going to start with her origins, during the epic event No Man’s Land.

For those who don’t know, No Man’s Land was a huge event during the Bat-books throughout the year of 1999, with a lot stories within it happening within multiple books, so it’s going to be a little harder to track than normal. BUT, I’ll list the issues down in correct order down below, and if you want to, you can follow it from the always handy Storyline link that DCUI provides for this event, which you can find HERE.

So with all that jibber-jabber out the way, here are the books:

Batman #567

“No Man’s Land” part 19 and “Mark of Cain” part 1! One of the world’s deadliest assassins has been dispatched to No Man’s Land to kill one of its denizens. And the only person that stands in his way is a mysterious, seemingly mute young female agent of Oracle, one who may have ties to the assassin himself. Featuring the first appearance of Cassandra Cain! Continued in DETECTIVE COMICS (1937-2011) #734.

Detective Comics #734

No Man’s Land’ part 20 and ‘Mark of Cain’ part 2, continued from BATMAN #567. What role will Oracle’s mysterious female agent play in the adventures of the new Batgirl? All will begin to be revealed as the story of the woman’s early life unfolds.

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #120

No Man’s Land’ part 21, featuring the first appearance of the new Batgirl! The Dark Knight has alienated those who once trusted him with their lives. After unmasking the new Batgirl and replacing her with another mysterious heroine and summoning Azrael to his side, Batman must now regain his former allies’ trust and coordinate their efforts if his plan to regain control of Gotham is to succeed.

Azrael: Agent of the Bat #56

The mysterious new Batgirl battles alongside Azrael as they fight their way through the No Man’s Land that was once Gotham City! Their objective: take down Nicholas Scratch!

Azrael: Agent of the Bat #57

Side by side with the new Batgirl, Azrael finally makes a dent in Nick Scratch’s operation in the former Gotham City.

Batman #569

The new Batgirl takes center stage as Batman gives her a surprising assignment of desperate importance: protect a gas station and its owner from thugs and gang members who want to take the fuel the station contains for their own use. “No Man’s Land” part 27.

Looking forward to discussing Cass’ first comic book stories with you guys!

This reading will be for the week of 2021-05-01T05:00:00Z2021-05-07T05:00:00Z, but if you’ve been stuck in a disaster stricken wasteland completely cut off by the United States government, you can always come back and share your thoughts!

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And if you’re itching for some more Bat-related reading, check out these reading from the other awesome clubs within the DCUI family! :batparrot:

First off, I gotta toot my horn a little bit and show that we also have a month long Casefile here, on the epic Batman arc Hush! toot toot

Next, over at the Renegade Robins club, we’re exploring the immediate fallout of the death of Damian Wayne, exploring the “Requiem” and “The Hunt for Robin” arcs in Batman & Robin, as well as the tie-ins that occurred throughout the DCU, a true Funeral for a Frenemy!

As of my writing, there isn’t a new posting for the Jason Todd portion, so for right now I’ll just repost the April reading of “The Next Generation”!

Meanwhile, over at Harley’s Crew, they’re going to be doing their own deep-dive of Poison Ivy!

@Bar-El is not done with their Read-A-Long/Watch-A-Longs! For the month of May they’ll be doing a read of the second arc of Superman/Batman, “The Supergirl of Krypton,” which will cap off with a Watch-A-Long of the animated adaptation “Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.”

Finally, we have the Birds of Prey Club, which is finishing up their coverage of the mini-series Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood!

If I missed any, please let us know and shout it out!


My quick thoughts on these issues:

Mark of Cain was a great introduction to the character of Cass – fitting, since the writer and artist would later do her on-going title.

Assembly was a nice baton pass for Cass to become Batgirl, as well as a good reset of where the story of No Man’s Land was going, with Bruce learning yet again that he can’t just do all the things on his own.

The two-parter of Azrael was interesting – at first, the whole side plot with Nicolas Scratch feels so out there and too unbelievable, but then you think of some of the weird cults and incidents that have happened over the years and it feels true to the insanity of everyday life.

“I Cover the Waterfront” was a nice one-shot focusing on Batgirl acclimating herself to being a hero. It’s interesting to see the writers utilize a character who can hardly say a word, yet still exhibit emotion and feeling.

Hope you guys enjoyed these issues!


I think that ‘I Cover the Waterfront’ was probably my favorite of this group. The ticking clock along with a last stand type situation made for a really exciting story. Cassandra being a silent assassin type character really lets the art tell the story as well.

The Azrael story was a fun read. I’m not terribly sure with that character, though. So his armor is magic?

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Bookmarked for Saturday morning! Does this version of Cassandra Cain still exist? I attempted to purchase and read her storyline, especially when she had her own series as the mute Batgirl for a while. This version is a very compelling and complex character.

I really liked that one too – I think what they did with No Man’s Land in general was really intriguing, one of those rare status quo shifts that feels different and yet oddly in keeping with what we see with Gotham.

As for Azrael, I believe his thing is that he was conditioned by the cult he was a part of, The Order of St. Dumas, to only be the master assassin he is when he is wearing the armor of Azrael.

I can understand thinking it was magic if you aren’t familiar with this iteration of the character – especially since another character who held the name, Michael Lane, actually had a more magical armor called the Suit of Sorrows. It’s a shame that his series isn’t on here, because that thing got BUCK WILD near the end.

That’s an interesting question. Cassandra definitely exist, she’s been in the books for a few years now and has been in a couple of team books. Her introduction in the New 52 changed her origins up a bit. But I think the core of her, what makes her unique, is still there. And the books have slowly added more of her original stuff, even to the point of her wearing her classic Batgirl costume nowadays. Here’s a preview that current Batman artist Jorge Jimenez showed off of her in an upcoming issue:

Thank you both for sharing your thoughts! I’ll be posting the next reading sometime tomorrow, but of course you’re always welcome to continue to share your thoughts on these issues. :batman_hv_6:


I dunno. Do we really have enough panels of people with blood on their hands in these issues? :stuck_out_tongue:


A question about Cass

I know her mainly from Rebirth Detective and a run in the Outsiders.

I know she was trained to be a human weapon and could barely speak in the beginning.

Besides the Bat Family and Clayface, does she interact with anyone?
Does she have friends?

My image of her is

Watching ballet from up on high, isolated and alone, perhaps desperately wanting to interact, but not knowing how.

In that, I relate to her very much


I read the first three issues of this today, which I’m pretty sure I read when they first came out as well. I’m reminded of how quickly the comics read because there is so little talking when featuring a mute superheroine.

I also just watched the entire new season of Jupiter’s Legacy today on Netflix, and I very seldom watch TV shows. It struck me that this quote from No Man’s Land in these comics, Batman to the Huntress who has been dressing as Batgirl, pretty much matches with what the main hero says about his son in Jupiter’s Legacy:


Yeah, it was great while it lasted, but they “fix” this detail way too quickly…

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Anyone else ever read the Novelization of No Man’s Land?

I thought the same thing about these issues and the first issues of her solo series. When a character communicates through action, it can be a pretty quick read if you let it.

Also, have to look into that Jupiter’s Legacy show – and the comic too, since I think I got it for free on Comixology a while back. Millar can be…hit or miss with me, to put it lightly, but when he hits, he hits.

Yeah, I get what you mean – I think it makes sense to have it happen eventually, but I think the way it was done felt kind of random, I’ll talk about it a little more in her solo series thread.

I did! I still have it, though sadly it’s in storage along with a lot of my other books and comics. :frowning:

It’s a pretty good adaptation. As I recall it streamlines the events of the story rather well. I would like to read that book again after I read through the full event to see how it feels.